Day At The Track

Son of Major In Art steps up

02:54 PM 05 Jun 2015 NZST
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The Culture - Made it five from seven last night at Ballarat
The Culture - Made it five from seven last night at Ballarat
The Culture produced an explosive burst when it mattered most at the harness racing meeting at Ballarat last night to win heat one of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for three-year-old colts and geldings.
Trainer/driver Matthew Craven said before the race he didn’t have the son of Major In Art/Henin Hardenne “as wound up” as he’d like for a tilt at big guns such as Menin Gate and Jilliby Royal, but he need not have worried because his pacer romped in by 4.5m.
Driver Glen Craven had Jilliby Royal in front to the home turn in the 2200m race with Victoria Derby winner and $1.30 favourite Menin Gate already under pressure in the chair.
Jilliby Royal covered the first half of the last mile in 60.6secs and produced a 28.2secs third quarter when Chris Alford started to ask Menin Gate for his effort.
Justbritell (Kerryn Manning) was on the leader’s back, while The Culture – who eased all the way out to $21.20 on the tote, an extraordinary price given his form lines around Jewels fourth placegetter Burnaholeinmypocket – was three back along the markers and seemingly in no man’s land.
But in the straight, Jilliby Royal started getting weary as Justbritell made his run, The Culture able to burst along the pegs to hit the lead and score what was in the end a pretty soft win.
The last quarter was clocked at 28.1secs but the winner’s final fraction was closer to 27.
"I'm going to have to take him back off the gate at the start because he can't be up over-racing outside horses of that calibre at this stage," Craven had said leading up to the race.
Mission accomplished. He summed it up well and The Culture balanced up early, settled perfectly and produced the type of burst you'd expect from a top-line three-year-old.
With five wins now from seven goes the sky looks the limit for The Culture.
Justbritell, who has been an ultra-consistent performer for trainer Terry Young, ran second, while Jilliby Royal was third beaten 5.4m.
Menin Gate finished fourth, while Jodis Choice (Jodi Quinlan) was fifth and Chief Safari (Michael Stanley) lost his chance at the start with a bad getaway to come in tailed off.
Cody Winnell
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